2017 Skyscraper Competition
Catherine He, Celia He
As the rate of space travel increases exponentially and off-Earth settlements multiply, the political and regulatory networks of the human species will likewise expand and diversify. From this growth emerges a new nexus of activity: Earth Port One.
Evolved from the electromagnetic propulsion technology first pioneered for space travel in the ancestral StarTram system, Earth Port One – or simply the Port – is the planet’s foremost spaceport for transporting mass volumes of people and goods between Earth and Deep Space destinations. Its Antarctic location, which allows for the most efficient access to polar orbits, by treaty, remains unclaimed by any single sovereign nation since its discovery. The Port is the result of the largest international joint venture in recorded history and is an icon of human collaboration and creation.
For these reasons, Earth Port One houses the Embassy: a singular Earth bound location which serves as neutral ground for the delegates of various extra-terrestrial agencies to assemble and interact. Whether it is to discuss off-world trade agreements, the establishment of new orbital communities, or the Interplanetary Olympic Games, the Port provides the means and space to host such conversations.
The spine of the Port is divided by elevation into two main volumes: public and private. The public domain begins with the Exchange, a single point of arrival and departure for everyone. From here, travelers may proceed to the spaceport, the airport, or enter the City proper. The first 500 levels of the Port spine are dedicated to a mixture of uses, including a 1600 acre park. The private domain is located beyond the 9km weather breakpoint, at an elevation where for half the year the sun never sets. Levels 501 and above, is home to agricultural facilities, research laboratories, and data centers dedicated to fueling the extra-terrestrial colonization effort.
The Port is many things to many people. To those who have never set foot on Earth, it is the first point of contact on foreign land. To those leaving Earth for another home, it is the last point of contact to familiar cultural and environmental conditions. To those who live and work on site, it provides the infrastructure and amenities of a self-sustaining city. Ultimately, to the citizens of this planet, whose collected efforts and curiosity brought Earth Port One into reality, this megastructure is Earth’s contribution and statement to the expanding intergalactic community.